Ferguson: Goodbye to 1943 (12-31-43)

The Pittsburgh Press (December 31, 1943)


Ferguson: Goodbye to 1943

By Mrs. Walter Ferguson

It’s a pleasure to say goodbye to 1943. Are all such fateful years of history so filled with heartaches? Anyway, for you and me there is only one logical New Year’s resolution – to resolve to be worthy of the boys who have died for us in the last 12 months.

Are we worthy when we think only of self at the food markets and shops? Or when we indulge in petty political bickering, or when we show intolerance, or let the small irritating human qualities hide the greatness of ordinary people?

For these boys who died were ordinary boys, from ordinary families. Peter and Bill and Tom grown a little taller – that’s all. They used to belong to the neighborhood gang. Mothers up and down the block yelled to them to stop teasing the cat or to wipe the mud off their shoes before stepping a foot in the house.

Yet those boys had within them the material of heroes. We couldn’t see it then any more than we can see the soul stuff of the people sitting next us on the bus. For great events are needed to bring forth greatness in human character. This year has proved that our men and women can stand any test. But it has proved also that many of those who stay home do not live so as to deserve those boys’ sacrifices.

Our scrambles after money and profits, our ration chiseling, our petty malices, ill become a people who have sent their boys out to fight for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Is it not true that while they give their life for our liberty, far too many home folks are concerned chiefly with the pursuit of happiness?